Holy Toledo!

I will not elaborate on this subject much, but I will say this: Spanish wine is good and very strong.

Madrid is currently replenishing their wine supply after last night.

That statement leads me to today: Toledo.

I will admit that I was in better shape than half of the whole group today. Props to me! The hour bus ride from Madrid to Toledo was interesting…surprisingly no one threw up but according to the stories I’ve heard today, some came very close.

Let me try to explain Toledo. It would probably be best for you to google the city rather than rely on me because our tours are in Spanish…machine gun Spanish. Due to me not being 100% today I’m not sure what I truly heard from our beautiful tour guide’s mouth (who by the way looked incredibly similar to Jess’ boyfriend Paolo….they could be brothers).

Driving into Toledo was like driving into a whole other world. The city has the original walls that were built to protect the city and they snake through the new and old parts. According to my rough translations the city was founded in 2BC or 2 after BC? (Refer to google) Toledo has 49? Churches and we explored 4 today, which leads me to today’s struggle bus ride.

Keep in mind that the sun is very hot here and the shadows are very cool. So you’re constantly playing with your jacket because you can’t find the right temperature. Trying to explore an ancient city while not being 100% was incredibly difficult, but it didn’t slow me down (well, a little…especially defeating Toledo’s hills). I can’t explain the beauty inside Toledo. If you can focus on the old parts of the city and look away from the tourist traps, it really feels like I’ve walked back in time.

The city is preparing for a huge festival called something like El Día de Cristo? I can actually hear the celebration from our open hotel window. I have to add that I think Scarface could have definitely been filmed here. Talk about walking back in time…it’s a hotel you expect to see women with long cigarettes, a smoky haze everywhere, and an Italian (or in this case…Spanish) mafia chilling on the oversized sofa chairs.

Back to the city…

Spain has the coolest, most beautifully designed doors. They are incredible! The first church we saw was actually a monastery and it was HUGE! And incredibly magnificent. There was history in every stone. My dad would have been drooling. As well as Stephanie. Jess would have been drooling over the doors and the wedding that was being set up. Mom would have been sitting on a bench in their garden.

We then went to a Jewish/Islam…thing (lack of a better word)…which started out as a mosque but then became slightly Jewish…needless to say that tour was confusing. Then we went to a church where we saw El Greco’s (a painter) masterpiece. It was very large. We then continued to the biggest freaking cathedral anyone has ever seen. I think our tour guide said that it is bigger than Norte dame but smaller than the one in Sevilla. It took 200 years to build. Need I say more? Oh, and the doors have only been opened 4 times for kings and important religious people. It was finished being built in 1400. They forgot I was coming…so it wasn’t opened a 5th time…

We had a very displeasing lunch but made up for it by getting amazing gelato. We were up late, woken up early, forced to march all over Toledo, uphill both ways, without any food. It was horrible. And it was super hot. But the beauty and the wonders of this city made up for all of it. My interesting choice of words can not do this city justice. It’s one of those places you have to see for yourself.

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4 thoughts on “Holy Toledo!

  1. Toledo…one of my favorite cities! By the description of your guide..pretty sure he was ours last time I took students there! Loving your blog..though it is making me ache to return.

  2. Oh my gosh! I love El Greco and it’s so amazing to see it in real life rather than pics. Though, let me take a moment and point out that all of these beautiful things you’re seeing are able to be captured in something called a PICTURE…which you can then POST to your BLOG for those of us here in the midwest to SEE!!!! 🙂 I’m so glad you’re having fun already and that you’re learning valuable lessons about Spanish wine!! Sometimes our best lessons are ones we learn the hard way. Can’t wait to read/see more!

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